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Homophobia in Singapore commination service

by
13 March 2015

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From the Revd Liam Beadle

Sir, - A friend of mine attended the cathedral eucharist for Ash Wednesday at St Andrew's Cathedral, Singapore. He drew my attention to a line included in a modernised form of the commination: "Adulterers, homosexuals and fornicators and all unclean persons, God shall judge."

It is hard to see how such language can be anything other than homophobic. Many Christians who experience same-sex attraction are happy to regard themselves as gay or homosexual, among them some who are conservative and traditional. Wesley Hill, an Evangelical New Testament scholar who has written a helpful book from a conservative perspective, Washed and Waiting, is an obvious example.

To be in communion with those who seem to regard even the homosexual condition as a cause of scandal undermines the efforts of Anglicans in England and elsewhere, whether conservative or liberal, to minister to gay and lesbian people with compassion. It frustrates our evangelism. It weakens the ties between the provinces of the Communion.

Perhaps, in the light of this hurtful liturgical eccentricity, GAFCON leaders could be asked to clarify their own position, and the diocese of Singapore could be asked to apologise to gay and lesbian Anglicans, and to those who seek to minister to them.

Liam Beadle
The Vicarage, 2 St Mary's Road
Honley, Holmfirth HD9 6AZ

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